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NCAA adopts official policy opening the door for transgender athletes

The NCAA has finally adopted an official policy opening the door for transgender athletes to compete during and after transition. The news comes after a groundbreaking transgender-athlete think tank last year headed up by the NCAA, NCLR's Helen Carroll and Pat Griffin.

“I commend the NCAA’s commitment to creating and supporting an inclusive culture that fosters equitable participation for student athletes,” said NCLR Sports Project Director Helen Carroll. “That core value is strengthened as the NCAA unveils this new policy that will not only allow, but encourage transgender student athletes to participate on athletic teams. This is truly historic, and it will give transgender student athletes equal access and opportunities to play college-level sports without any obstacles.”

The policy works around two sticking points for many people: Allowing trans female athletes to compete as women and allowing trans male athletes taking testosterone to compete against other men. According to NCLR the policy offers these guidelines:

  • A transgender male student athlete who has a medical exception for testosterone hormone therapy may compete on a men’s team, but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing the team status to a mixed team.
  • A transgender female student athlete who has taken medication to suppress testosterone for a year may compete on a women’s team.

The full report from the think tank can be viewed here; We had previously listed it on our list of the 100 most important moments in gay-sports history. Also check out the NCAA's LGBT resource page.